November 5, 2012


No, Kanye West Had Nothing to Do With That 'Cruel Winter' Trailer

By now, you've probably seen the reported trailer for Kanye West's upcoming Cruel Winter album; a 54-second clip featuring a voiceover of George H.W. Bush discussing the "New World Order" over stark, desolate images of dessicated trees and ominous forests. The clip led to mass discussions on Kanye's mindset and oft-analyzed theories between hip hop and the Illuminati, but as Austin Christianson, the clip's creator, tells Fuse, neither Kanye nor anyone in his camp had anything to do with the trailer.

"Without getting into many details, I will say that the trailer was independently made and the video is essentially a concept trailer," the 23-year-old director says. "It's used for pitching an idea and/or concept to a client. With that said, the video was being used for pitching purposes and it's naturally intended only for the client to see."

A spokesperson for Kanye West did not respond for comment, but Def Jam Records took to Twitter to deny involvement with the trailer.

The clip uses audio from Bush's 1991 speech "Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf," which announced U.S. military attacks in Iraq and Kuwait, over footage from "Dark Fields," a 90-second clip from film production company Fenchel & Janisch.

"It was used for reference purposes only, and Fenchel & Janisch have no involvement otherwise," says Christianson, who has since removed the trailer from both his YouTube and Vimeo page.

Christianson does have a few official clips to his name, most notably Wiz Khalifa's video for "Cameras", but his placing of a "Copyright DONDA" in the original video's description seemed more wishful thinking than imprimatur of an officially commissioned project. When asked if Kanye had seen the clip or was interested in working with the director, Christianson remained cagey, stating, "I can't tell you any more than what's already out there."